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Bullying driving away LGBT employees in the tech industry

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Bullying driving away LGBT employees in the tech industry

LGBT employees constantly face pressure and discrimination at their jobs– so it’s not surprising a report notes that those employed in the tech industry face a lot of bullying.

According to the Tech Leavers Study, 20 percent of LGBT employees had experienced being bullied while working in the industry.

LGBT employees: Tech Leavers study

The national study, the first of its kind conducted by Kapor Center for Social Impact and Harris Poll, talked to 2,000 professionals who had left their position in the tech industry and their reasons why.

Their study noted that the single largest driver of turnover affecting different groups of people in the tech industry is unfair treatment.

This unfairness-based turnover costs the tech industry US$16 billion a year.

The study also reported that LBGT employees “”were most likely to be bullied” with 20 percent and “experience public humiliation or embarrassment” with 24 percent.

Likewise, almost two thirds of the LGBT surveyed said the bullying was a factor in why they chose to leave the company.

LGBT employees: Bad for business

In the survey, an employee– an engineer and transgender who commented anonymously– said that they had faced unprecedented discrimination at their company.

“I was grossly underpaid, and my experiences of marginalisation as a minority was dismissed by my manager, whose general disrespect and maltreatment of me caused high levels of stress and job dissatisfaction,”they said.

Workplace bullying is “bad for business,” said Selisse Berry, CEO of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates.

“If LGBT people are being bullied at work, they aren’t able to be as productive, creative, or connected to their role and their workplace,” Berry said.

“How can our country be on the leading edge of technology if we’re still functioning with a 1950s view of who is welcome in the workplace?” she added.

LGBT employees: Costs of discrimination

The study’s discovery this doesn’t come as much of a surprise– though at least the study gave a price tag to the costs.

An earlier pilot study done by the World Bank in 2015 found that LGBT discrimination in India could be costing their economy up to US$32 billion a year due to lost economic output– or one percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

If this is applied globally, the costs of LGBT discrimination could go up to US$400 billion, which is a conservative estimate.

However, Dr. James Heintz, economics professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, said that despite these economic costs, there’s an intrinsic value in protecting everyone’s human rights– including those of the LGBT community.

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